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Search warrant sheds light on federal corruption probe of Sen. Martin Sandoval

By Brett Rowland | The Center Square
The search warrant federal agents used to raid state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office in Springfield lays out a broad investigation into his dealings with ComEd, Exelon, red-light camera operator SafeSpeed, a video gambling company, an asphalt contractor, and state and municipal officials.
According to the warrant, agents were searching for “items related to any official action taken in exchange for a benefit,” also known as a kickback.
On Friday, Senate Democrats released an unredacted copy of the warrant federal agents obtained to search the offices of the Senate Transportation Committee Chairman. The document was released after WBEZ filed a lawsuit to obtain the document under the state’s open records law.
Previously, Senate President John Cullerton had released a redacted copy of the warrant.
Federal agents were looking for evidence of Sandoval’s interaction with ComEd and Exelon related to any issues those companies supported, including potential rate increases, according to the warrant.
Agents also sought information related to Gold Rush Amusements Inc. and owner Rick Heidner. Gold Rush is a video gambling company with 480 locations statewide, according to its website.
Agents searched Sandoval’s office last month looking for evidence of a conspiracy to defraud, bribery, and interfering with commerce by threats or violence, among other things. They took cell phones, computers, USB drives, campaign spreadsheets and other items from Sandoval’s office in the State Capitol.
Federal investigators also searched Sandoval’s Cicero office and his home. Chicago media outlets reported federal agents also visited Bluff City Materials, a sand and gravel business that serves contractors in several industries, including concrete and asphalt. Owner Michael Vondra did not return a message seeking comment. Vondra has donated money to Sandoval’s campaign fund and to Sandoval’s daughter’s campaign fund.